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How Marriage Counseling Can Help You Meet the Needs of Your Blended Family

Your son is ignoring you while your daughter is angry. What do you do?

In a typical family, this would not be an easy question. However, you and your partner are part of a blended family. One, in which, both of you bring together children from previous relationships into a new family.

This can be an exciting and wonderful time. Yet, it is also very challenging. You’ve both tried to work out the bugs together, but it’s been hard and progress has been slow.

This is where marriage counseling can help you meet the needs of your blended family.

Getting Things Off Your Chest

It helps to have a place to get things off your chest. This is true for anybody, let alone parents of a blended family.

If you are holding in frustrations, anger, or even resentment, it’s important to express those emotions in a safe environment. Otherwise, they could infiltrate your day to day interactions with your family—which, won’t do anyone any good at all.

Also, you may not know how or what to say to your partner. Perhaps you’ve noticed that they are struggling, but you are not sure how to talk to them about it. Marriage counseling allows you to finally release all of those feelings in a supportive setting.

Finding Solutions for Problems

Another benefit of couples counseling is that it can be a brainstorming session to find solutions to problems at home.

For instance, have either of you run into an issue where your step-child says, “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my parent!” It’s demoralizing to hear that from your child. In fact, it’s as if you’ve just slammed into a brick wall.

With counseling, you can all work together as a team to find workable solutions. The next time you return for a session, you can review with the therapist what worked and what didn’t. That way you both have an opportunity to refine your parenting technique.

Getting on the Same Communication Page

As people who were already parents before entering into this new relationship, you both may have had different parenting styles. What’s important for one parent may not be as consequential for the other, causing problems such as:

  • Kids get confused by inconsistent parenting styles.
  • You lose authority as a parent if the other is undermining you.
  • The kids practice “parent shopping” where they ask one parent for something knowing the other would not be okay with the request.

Therefore, as parents, it’s critical that both of you are on the same page on these issues. Your couples counselor can work with you to create a workable plan for expectations and consequences. Also, they can coach you on how to respond to those kinds of interactions with your kids.

Improving Even When Things are Going Well

Even if things are going well, marriage counseling can still be helpful. If anything, it’s useful to already have a working relationship with a counselor who understands your background and situation. That way, when something does come up, you all can just jump right to the issue at hand.

Couples counseling is useful for parents of any kind of family. As a blended family, navigating the issues related to bringing two families together into one can be particularly challenging.

Of course, as in any relationship, good communication problem-solving skills are vital. However, a couples counselor can help you both refine and improve those skills. As a result, you can be more effective not just as parents, but as a couple, too.

Please contact our office to learn more about our marriage counseling and co-parenting help.

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